GAMBLING GUIDE

Jerry Bo: Bookie busters World Cup edition

Messi should help Argentina score more than one goal. Dennis Doyle/Getty Images

The anticipation is over, the World Cup has arrived. Well, let's be serious, the opening day of the tournament is nothing but a tease with the unpleasant opening ceremony, followed by a less than stellar matchup between the host nation Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The game was somewhat of a surprise, not so much by the team that won, but more of the fashion they did it in. Russia got off to a hot start netting five goals and a leg up in the group. The goal differential will be crucial when it comes down to group winners. Look for Uruguay to come out serious, knowing that second place in this group matches you up potentially with France in the round of 16. Saud Arabia looked extremely vulnerable and will be the group's punching bag.

The opening game to the tournament saw five total goals, with over backers laughing their way to the cashier. Historically, betting overs in the opening game of the group stages has been a bad idea. The element of playing in matches with stakes so high tend to make international teams play somewhat more cautious. This is especially true early in tournaments when teams are still getting accustomed to the stage and not making mistakes is a the top of every player's mind. Over time, the first group games have shown us to have less amount of goals than other stages of the competition.



As you can see, only twice since 1990 has the average been higher than 2.5 goals per game in the first match of the group stages. Brazil 2014 saw a record amount of goals averaging 3.06 per match, and we saw that carry over to Thursday's match.

Gamblers tend to have a short memory, and many will gravitate to backing overs with the success as of late in opening matches. I expect a regression at some point and the numbers getting back to normal, so tread overs carefully as the first week unfolds.

Picks

6/15

Uruguay vs Egypt - FIFA World Cup - Group A
Uruguay Moneyline -165     4*

Iran vs Morocco - FIFA World Cup - Group B
Morocco -.5   +126 1*

Spain vs Portugal- FIFA World Cup - Group B
Over 2      1*

6/16

Australia vs France - FIFA World Cup - Group C
France Team Total Over 2     MAX BET 5*

Iceland vs Argentina - FIFA World Cup - Group D
Argentina Team total over 1.5   3*

Denmark vs Peru - FIFA World Cup - Group C
PASS  (plenty of Peru futures)

Nigeria vs Croatia - FIFA World Cup - Group D
Over 2           2*
6/17

Serbia vs Costa Rica - FIFA World Cup - Group E
PASS

Mexico vs Germany - FIFA World Cup - Group F
PASS

Switzerland vs Brazil - FIFA World Cup - Group E
Brazil -1     3*

6/18

South Korea vs Sweden - FIFA World Cup - Group F
PASS

Panama vs Belgium - FIFA World Cup - Group G
PASS

England vs Tunisia - FIFA World Cup - Group G
PASS
 

6/19

Japan vs Colombia - FIFA World Cup - Group H
Colombia Moneyline    2*

Senegal vs Poland - FIFA World Cup - Group H
Over 2           2*

Egypt vs Russia - FIFA World Cup - Group A
PASS



For any questions or comments reach me @JerryBoKnowz on Twitter


 

 

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After dropping the middle game to the Rangers to split the first two games, the Astros looked for an improved offensive showing in the finale on Thursday night to take the series. Here is a rundown of the rubber game:

Final Score: Astros 2, Rangers 1.

Record: 25-25, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Framber Valdez (4-3, 3.82 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jordan Lyles (1-5, 7.07 ERA).

Valdez another Houston pitcher to thrive against Rangers

Much like Jose Urquidy on Tuesday and Lance McCullers JR. on Wednesday, Framber Valdez put up an excellent pitching line on Thursday against the Rangers. After allowing two singles in the first and a single in the second, he would settle in and hold the Rangers to just one baserunner, which came via a walk through six frames.

He would try to get through the seventh, but after a long at-bat and one-out double, Dusty Baker would stop his night and go to the bullpen. Unfortunately, that double would end up scoring as Josh James would allow an RBI-single, charged to Valdez, before finishing the inning. Along the way, Valdez was able to ring up eleven Rangers. His final line: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K, 0 HR, 100 P.

Kyle Tucker gets the big hit of the night

Luckily, Houston was still in the lead after the Rangers' run, thanks to a big hit by Kyle Tucker back in the second inning. After Alex Bregman reached base on a walk to become the first runner for the Astros, Kyle Tucker would break out of his recent slump with a two-run home run, putting Houston ahead 2-0 at the time.

Jordan Lyles was otherwise handling the Astros just like Kyle Gibson the night prior, who threw a complete-game shutout. Other than the Tucker homer, Lyles allowed another hit in the second and one in the third before retiring the next 12 Astros in order before an error in the seventh broke that streak, giving Houston their first baserunner since two outs in the third.

Houston takes the series and moves back up to .500

Josh James returned to the mound to start the eighth, and he would get a 1-2-3 inning against the top of Texas' lineup, including back-to-back strikeouts to end it. After another scoreless inning by Houston at the plate, that would set up a save opportunity in the top of the ninth. The opportunity would go to Brooks Raley, and he would notch the save with a scoreless inning, giving Houston the series and moving them back up to .500 at 25-25.

Up Next: The Astros' final three regular-season games played at Minute Maid Park in 2020 are this weekend in a series against the Diamondbacks. In Friday's 7:10 PM opener, Zack Greinke (3-2, 3.77 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston while Zac Gallen (1-2, 3.15 ERA) will be the starter for Arizona.

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